The thought of going to jail while on holiday would most likely not appeal to the average traveler but at Kilmainham Gaol you are guaranteed an exit on the same day!
Kilmainham is a large jail, constructed in the late 1800s. It ceased being a jail in 1924, just after Ireland formed its first independent government. Many of Ireland's freedom fighters were incarcerated within its walls including many of those who took part in the 1916 Easter Rising.
The jail underwent extensive restoration and is now a museum dedicated to Irish National History. It contains several exhibits, mostly dealing with Ireland's political history and the road traveled by the country from its time under British rule to the emergence of its own identity as an independent nation. It also tells the story of the plight of the prisoners and the terrible conditions which they were forced to endure.
Many of the exhibits can be disturbing and, although the prison has been restored, it still has an oppressive atmosphere and can be very cold depending on the weather.
A short video is shown at first to introduce you to some Irish history then it's onto the guided tour. The tour guides give a very informative and condensed account of the prison's history and the struggle for Irish independence.
Allow approximately one hour for the tour and you may have to wait in the busy periods if the tour group is too big.
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